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Jesse L. Waits

October 18, 2018

Jesse Lee “Jess” Waits, 87, of Ashland, Kansas passed away peacefully October 18, 2018 in the Minneola District Hospital at Minneola, Kansas. Jess was born February 3, 1931 to Montra Waits and Elsie Nixon Waits in Woodward, Oklahoma. He attended public schools in Woodward for twelve years and graduated in 1949. He married Ruth Ann Burton on August 21, 1951 in Woodward and this union was blessed with three children who were raised in a very happy home. Jess and Ann were married 34 years. He married Esther Gilbert of Lakin, Kansas, on April 29, 1994 and they made their home in Ashland where Esther was a wonderful wife, friend, and companion. For the last several years of his life Esther was his primary caregiver. Jess was a member of the Protection Christian Church for many years.  Jess was very involved in agriculture his entire professional career. He farmed and ranched with his father for several years before returning to Oklahoma State University in Stillwater where he earned B.S. and M.S. degrees in Agricultural Education. He taught vocational agriculture and FFA programs for 11 years, finishing his teaching career at Buffalo, Oklahoma (1959-1968). He then purchased a propane business in Ashland and added fertilizer sales at several locations in Kansas and Oklahoma. He also owned and operated farms/ranches in Harper County, Oklahoma and Clark County, Kansas for several decades. He knew how to work and made it a point to teach others how to do the same. Jess was a private pilot and beginning in the 1960’s he dearly loved to fly a series of small airplanes he owned through the years. But by far, his greatest mechanical thrills came from riding motorcycles. He bought his first Harley when he was in high school and was never far away from a motorcycle — or the camaraderie that he enjoyed with his many friends and “motorcycle buddies”, especially Tom Miller of Protection.  He is survived by his wife Esther of the home; his sister Eloise Smith Miller (Dale) of Enid, Oklahoma; his children David Waits (Cindy) of Stillwater, Dana Price (Mike) of Edmond, Oklahoma, Jonathan Waits (Tami) of Edmond; his step-children Johnetta Kerr (Kenneth) of Garden City, Kansas, Philip Gilbert (Irene) of Sedona, Arizona; his stepson-in-law Cole Knight (husband of deceased step-daughter Dixie) of Wichita, Kansas; his grandchildren Matthew Waits (Kristine) of Stillwater, Mark Waits (Brandi) of Stillwater, Chase Smith (Daisy) of Denver, Colorado, Chad Smith of Denver, Lauren Smith of Edmond, Blake Waits (Vanessa) of Carlsbad, New Mexico; his step-grandchildren Stephanie Lee of Wichita, David Geier of Wichita, Todd Kerr of Garden City, Gina Kerr of Garden City, Brandon Gilbert of Manhattan, Kansas, and Ryan Gilbert of Manhattan.  Jess is also survived by numerous great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and other family and friends. The family would like to express our thanks for the wonderful help and care given by Minneola Healthcare for the last several years, and many thanks go particularly to Dr. Tony Luna for his amazing life-extending skills and friendship. In lieu of flowers friends may make memorial contributions to the Protection Christian Church.


Donations may be made to:

Christian Church of Protection
107 W Pine, Protection KS 67127


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